I need you to sit down. Take a few deep breaths. This news will be tough to hear, but it will be alright with time. I promise you we’ll get through this together.
OK. Google Play Music is going away this December. We knew Google planned to phase out its streaming music service, replacing it with YouTube Music, but now we have more details about how the next few months will shake out. Google Play Music is dying a slow, dramatic death to give people more time to embrace YouTube Music (or finally switch to Spotify, which kind of seems like the move here, but I can’t tell you what to do).
Here’s how it will work: You have until December to move your Google Play Music library to YouTube Music before you lose everything. (Here’s how to do that.) However, Google Play Music will stop working before December. In October, you’ll no longer be able to use or stream music from the Google Play Music app. (For users in South Africa and New Zealand, that’s happening in September.) And at the end of this month, the ability to pre-order, buy, upload, or download music using Music Manager is going away.
Basically, the only reason Google Play Music is sticking around until December is because Google hopes that, instead of jumping ship, you’ll just hop on over to YouTube Music. The company has made that process extremely easy: Just open YouTube Music and smash the transfer button. You can move over your entire library. You can also download your library from Google Play Music using Google Takeout if you don’t want to switch to YouTube Music.
If you currently pay for Google Play Music (which is $10/month) and decide not to switch over to YouTube Music, Google will cancel your subscription for you in October so you won’t continue to get charged for a service you don’t use or don’t want.
Google will be alerting its Play Music subscribers to these changes via email to avoid any surprises. But this has been in the works since [checks notes] 2018, so I think we’re all prepared to move on. Just add it to the list of failed Google services.